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|Originaltitel:||A Dog's Journey|
|Laufzeit:||Approx. 109 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Many long years and some dog lives it had taken until Bailey found his master Ethan (Dennis Quaid) again. Now he is happy and content with Ethan and his wife Hannah (Marg Helgenberger) on their farm. The little CJ, Ethan's granddaughter, also lives here. But her mother (Betty Gilpin) doesn't like to see how closely her daughter is connected to her grandparents. One day she grabs the girl and moves to the big city. When Bailey dies shortly thereafter, Ethan asks him to take care of CJ in his next life. And so for the dog in his next incarnations the search for the girl begins, which he finds years later as a young woman (Kathryn Prescott) in New York again. And Bailey quickly realizes that CJ really needs all his dog love to cope with the difficulties of life…
Two years ago, Lasse Hallström did it with the filming of W. Bruce Cameron's animal bestseller "Bailey - A Friend for Life" was a real box-office hit, which, at 200 million dollars, was able to make almost ten times its budget. No wonder, then, that the story is now told with "Bailey - A dog returns". The renowned TV director Gail Mancuso has taken over the helm, but otherwise (almost) everything has remained the same: Again the spectator accompanies Bailey through different dog lives, which lead him at the end to a certain goal. But one thing is different: While in the first part only the first and the last dog was together with Ethan, in the second part the way of every dog crosses the way of CJ.
This is especially nice for dog friends to look at again and sometimes really touching. However, this time the story seems even more constructed and loaded with clichés than was the case with the already not very original first part. CJ's mama, for example, is a completely overdrawn raven mother who drowns her frustration over her failed career in alcohol and who is more attached to some guys than to taking care of her little daughter. How the whole thing ends is as clear from the beginning as the Amen in the church. By the way, this applies to the whole story, which doesn't have a single surprise in store.
In other respects, too, the film only seems like a light version of its predecessor. The make-up of Dennis Quaid and Marg Helgenberger at the end of the movie isn't very convincing and also the "We're old and fragile" game of the two seems a bit amateurish. Even the many cute dogs can't hide it. All in all, "Bailey - A Dog Returns" isn't a really bad movie, but it can never achieve the emotional effect of its predecessor. And that's why there is only one thing left to do with a few significant exceptions: Worth seeing!
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